Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Rascals: Search and Nearness [Atlantic, 1970]
Talk about acid casualties--these guys are victims of psychedelica even if they never touched the stuff. But those who ignore the atrocious title and listen to the songs are in for a surprise, because this is no Freedom Suite. In fact, it may be their most consistent regular-release LP--only one waste cut per side. If the Rascals are spouting universalist truisms, so is every other soul band these days--usually without coming up with anything as original or unpretentious as the warmly tongue-in-cheek "Right On." The only problem is that that's the high point--no new classics for Aretha to cover. Special surprise: Dino Danelli's modal jazz instrumental "Name." B+